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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009, Roll Up (RU) 7 has been released

Microsoft has just released hotfix rollup 7 for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 Service Pack 1

This is a roll up of all hotfixes created since RU6, and actually contains all hotfixes since SP1 has been released. It's very important to keep up to date with RU information, as I pointed out in my article on the Value of Upgrading.

There are a good bit of kernel, application and country specific fixes that are apart of this roll up, and it's very much worth looking to see if your company can benefit from these. If your doing a new implementation, you need to make sure your partner is taking and working from the RU7.

One thing of note, the following link.: Hot Fixes Released For Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 has not been updated yet to reflect this release.

I expect this will be updated soon, as this is the more "formal", if you will, place on PartnerSource / CustomerSource that such information is managed.

With that, you will need access to CustomerSource or PartnerSource to access RU7.

Check back soon, as more great post are coming on AX 2012, the Cloud, Decision 2011, Advanced Projects, interview with Kees Hertogh and more! Till next time!

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

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Monday, April 25, 2011

Product Management with Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 - Part I

As part of my continued effort to try and help grow the Microsoft Dynamics Community and Ecosystem, I have reached out to those peers of mine that I trust. The reach out, is an effort to get them to use their knowledge, and expertise to help the Dynamics community at large.

As part of this effort, Brad Edwards, Supply Chain Consultant with Sunrise Technologies, has agreed to do a guest post here on my blog.

With the upcoming release of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, a lot is changing. That means deeper functional depth, and more possible ways for customers to maximize their investment with AX.

Brad, in this series of guest post, takes us through the new possibilities with product management, for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012.

With the release of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 comes some rather large, but exciting changes to the way in which products are managed. In previous versions, item masters were kept at the company level by default, often times causing headaches for organizations that wished to share product masters between two or more legal entities.

While technically, the potential existed to share the Item master between companies, this option tended to result in more drawbacks than advantages. This typically caused organizations that desired such functionality to create jobs to synchronize items between AX companies. In AX 2012, products are now managed at the instance level, and released to AX companies as necessary. This series of post, will provide a high level overview of this change, as well as other changes in the area of product management.

Product creation and management
The first major change to notice, is that product management has been moved out of the Inventory and Warehouse Management module (formerly Inventory management), and into a new Product information management module.

Base product information is managed via the menu items highlighted above.

The shared product master can be accessed via the All products menu item.

The form shown above is the new AX 2012 Product master. This is DIFFERENT than the AX 2009 Item master, as this shows all of the products that are used across all companies in the AX instance.

The creation of new products is performed by clicking the New product button in the ribbons section of the form, or hitting CTRL+N on the keyboard. The user is then presented with the following dialog:

The first value that the user must specify is the Product type. Here, the user has two choices: Item or Service. This field is the AX 2012 version of Item type from previous versions of AX.
  • Item type - This option will be selected if the product is an inventoried product

  • Service type - This option will be selected if the product is a non-inventoried product

  • Lack of the BOM type - AX 2012 has done away with the need for the BOM item type.

All Released products (company specific items…to be discussed later in the series of post) of type Item may now have a BOM, and the sourcing of the product is determined by its default order settings

The second value that the user must specify is the Product sub-type. Here, the user has two choices: Product or Product master. This field allows the user to choose whether or not the product will have any Product dimensions (Color, Size, or Configuration).
  • Product master sub-type - Products of this sub-type must have a product dimension group that specifies the product dimensions that are active for the product (color, size, configuration)

  • Product sub-type - Products of this sub-type do NOT have any product dimensions, and therefore do not have a product dimension group

This, in essence, is both a product master and a product variant

If the product sub-type is set to Product, the user need only fill in the Product number, Product name, and Search name (as with previous versions, the Product name, and Search name default to the value of the Product number).

If the product sub-type is set to Product master, the user must specify the fields shown above, as well as the Product dimension group, and the Configuration technology:

That is all for the first part, in the multiple part series. I would like to thank Brad for taking the time out of his busy schedule to share with us his deep dive into Product Management with Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012.

Check back next week, as the second part of this series is posted!

For reference, the following is Brad's Bio:
>Brad Edwards is a Senior Supply Chain Consultant with Sunrise Technologies. While his specialty is functional consulting in the areas of supply chain management, manufacturing, and warehouse management, he also has strong technical skills that prove to be very valuable during project implementation. Brad has worked on numerous AX implementations in the areas of Food & Beverage, Apparel, and Furniture. He resides in Atlanta, GA and is an alumnus and avid supporter of The Georgia Institute of Technology.

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Interview with Microsoft's Lachlan Cash on his new role, AX 2012 and more

While at Conv11 I had the chance to sit down with Microsoft's Lachlan Cash. You may recall Lachlan, as he is very active while at Convergence, helping with the keynotes, doing demo's, and also has been on my blog a few times before. (Interview with Microsoft's Lachlan Cash about Dynamics AX Technical Conference)

This time, I sat down with Lachlan to review a lot of different things, including is move from the Microsoft Dynamics AX Product Team, to becoming a AX Solution Architect working with Sri and Hal Howards R&D teams.

The following is the result of that interview.:

Q1: Lachlan, you recently moved from the AX Product team, to Hal Howards Dynamics Research group. Can you tell us a little bit about this new position, and your influence over AX in this new role?

Lachlan: "Making the move from the Product team, to Hal Howards group, and specifically Sri’s Solutions Architect team, put my focus more on the sales process, as well with implementations for Microsoft Dynamics AX.

In this new role, I will focus on helping fill a need that has been identified with helping with sales support questions from a total Solutions Architecture point of view. This includes working with larger implementations of AX, and driving value helping the total solution for a customer scale.

One of the business values, from this new role, and how that influences AX in general will be around creating lessons learned, which in turn help with the partner channel around readiness efforts.

In my new role then, I focus on more of the execution side for helping deliver Microsoft Dynamics AX implementations, through our Partner Channel, and how the functional depth and use of AX fits into the overall total solution package for a given customer.

As part of this, the R&D team can also take what we learn through helping with customers scale and complete their total solution, and if you will – drive backwards through the R&D, and therefore product development to help shape a better and better ERP platform that is Microsoft Dynamics AX."

Q2: Now that Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 is in public beta, can you talk to the power of things, like the workflow engine & designer, and it’s impact on such ERP project task, like business process modeling?

Lachlan: "The goal with such items, as the workflow engine is to address the need to bridge the gap between development vs. business process modeling. To take and drive true BP workflows, down to the end user level.

With this in mind, Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 is really the first true step in this direction. We started the foundation for this concept in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009, but really built upon on it AX 2012. Now that we host the Microsoft .Net Workflow engine, and Visual Studio Workflow designer, the gap between the developer world and business process modeling world has gotten a lot smaller.

Take for example, now with workflow in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, you can nest workflows, and have workflow logic that calls upon other workflows. This is truly an empowering step towards a business process modeling world, that leads to a more dynamic and agile ERP platform.

Looking at this from a long term view, the idea would be eventually to drive system configuration away from so much code and parameters, and to more domain specific design, and even language to complete the configuration of a Dynamics AX instance.

The underlying design theme, then is taking and setting up AX, so that this move to decouple modules and sequential code, into more business model concepts then enables in the future the ability to have this ‘lego block’ approach to deploying and even customizing Microsoft Dynamics AX.

Lets look at a real world example, of this decoupling that has already taking a positive affect in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012. If you look at the new structure and design for the infinite financial dimensions, we have a great story here. In Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 and before, some code and parameters had to be adjust in order to add a new financial dimension. Now in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, no code or parameters are needed. You model your financial dimensions as needed, and the work load is a business user, vs a technical need.

Another great example of this same decoupling, or abstraction that we are doing is the separation of the Inventory dimensions. Before Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, we had a very tightly created design around inventory dimensions that mixed item attributes along with storage and tracking information. Now we have split these, decoupled them, in a fashion to where the Item Attributes, live abstract from the tracking dimensions, which also both live in an abstract manor, separate from storage dimension.

As we move forward with the development of Microsoft Dynamics AX, more and more of this decoupling will take place, which will help empower and enable customers that choose it as their ERP platform."

Q3: Lachlan, with this new vision, for performing business process modeling via the workflow designer, how much ISV development and also AX 2012 out-of-the-box will be setup using this new approach?

Lachlan: "Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 represents the first step in this direction. With that, we are still not completely at the point in which true business modeling is mostly done with the workflow designer, and with domain specific components.

For ISV’s, there exists however a new place in which they can deliver their vertical specific expertise through the creation of workflows, and business modeling elements in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012. In doing so, they would be setting themselves for future releases of Microsoft Dynamics that will use this approach.

For Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, out-of-the-box business process modeling workflows still reside mostly around the procurement, and procurement templates. However, these are great examples, and a lot more depth than what came out of the box in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009. From these templates, a customer, or ISV can use, to help them create their own templates that govern other processes.

With regard to the out-of-the-box nature, for business process workflow templates, Microsoft’s focus is and will be around the horizontal needs, which include the five focused industry sectors that will be apart of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 and beyond. This means, as I stated earlier, that there is a lot of room for ISV’s to bring their vertical expertise to the table with what now exists in the workflow elements."

Q4: Lachlan, as part of the Microsoft Convergence 2011 keynote, Kiril made the official announcement for Microsoft Dynamics ERP Online. As part of that announcement, it was officially released that Microsoft Dynamics AX version 7 will be built for the cloud first. For the Azure PaaS offering. Care to give a little insight on this?

Lachlan: "When looking at the cloud offering, what Microsoft Dynamics AX version 7, or vNext, will offer is around scale as well as flexibility. The idea that is driven us, is around that enabling flexibility and choice to our customers.

Some customers will want to be 100% cloud based, however what we are seeing mostly is customers that will want to live in a hybrid cloud mode. Where parts of their solution will exists in the cloud, while other parts will still exists on-premise.

The architectural changes you now see in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, with the decoupling, unified natural models, abstraction, the move to more .Net all help line up Microsoft Dynamics AX to help offer this eventual true choice for customers.

It is true, that Microsoft Dynamics AX version 7 is being built for the cloud first, however the same code base and offering can still run 100% on-premise, or in a hybrid mode, as well as the partner hosted model that we see geared up now for the Microsoft Dynamics AX cloud story.

The choice is what separates Microsoft Dynamics from the rest of the pack in this regard."

Well I would like to take the time and thank Lachlan for sitting down with me. It's always a pleasure!

As you can see, Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 represent true generational shift in the ERP landscape. This includes Microsoft Dynamics Cloud ERP offering, and driving to Microsoft Dynamics AX 7, which will be built for the cloud first.

I agree with Lachlan, that, Microsoft Dynamics flexbility and being designed so the customer has a choice in how and what is running in the cloud and not, helps separate it from the rest of the pack! You can read more on my take for Microsoft Dynamics Cloud Vision here: A Guide to Microsft Dynamics Cloud ERP - Dynamics AX

That's all for now, but check back soon as more to come. Till next time!

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Development Choices with Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012

One of the current white papers that has been released as part of the public beta for Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, is around your choice as a partner or customer, and how you develop and customize AX.

A direct link to that PDF white paper can be found here.: Selecting the Best Development Technology for Your Application Development Scenario in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012

This is a really good white paper, and helps further cement the fact that with Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, you really do have a choice in how you develop ISV offerings, and even customize AX for your unique needs as a customer.

It shows the power of Microsoft Dynamics Tools for Visual Studio, single repository, and the fact that X++ compiles down to CIL, which is the runtime language base for all .Net managed code.

I will point out the fact, that this paper does take and try to make a point that X++ is harder to learn for C# developers. This is not at all true and honestly I'm a little disappointed in the authors in making this statment.

X++ by far is a super easy sytnax to learn, and it being harder to learn over C# is not a valid arguement.

The biggest learning curve with AX that exists, and has always existed is where to put things. With AX, you can place code and business logic elements at the data, business and user layers through table methods, classes and forms.

What should be taken away, and what helps really shape where and why you should choose X++ over, say C#, is all about context. What is the context and nature of your mod, it's designed usage, and it's scale need.

If, for example you are developing a new business logic that will be used with Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, as well as other LOB apps, and maybe some web based use, then C# WCF service that can run on-premise or in Azure is the best choice.

However, if your doing code changes to some core aspects of AX, adding a totally new module, then pure X++, or at least some X++ with hooks and events firing into C# will be your route.

From a technical aspect, it is important to understand that with Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, there is a true interop and native calls between X++ and C#, as well as vice versa. This does open the door to all kinds of possible new ways of achieving business value add.

The bottom line, for anything to do with an ERP platform, should be governed and driven by business value add, and really not at all by technology.

If you don't have a known ROI for doing something, then you should not do it. X++, C# or anything.

So this is a great white paper, that helps highlight some good facts and context of why a pure .Net language like C# might be choosen to use over X++, still it should be tempered with real business value add, as well as the fact that both X++ and C# are tools used to create a means to an end. That end, is very Dynamic and ever growing, and the end is bottom line dollars to you as a customer, or your customers.

That's all for now, check back soon though as more to come!

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

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Friday, April 15, 2011

Sunrise Technologies is Hiring!

I wanted to get the word out that Sunrise Technologies, Inc. (www.sunriseconsult.com), the wonderful Microsoft Partner I am a part of, is looking for experts in Microsoft Dynamics AX, as well as PTC's FlexPLM.

We are looking for both functional and technical consultants, as we are seeing some great growth.

Let me tell, one of the best career decisions I ever made, was getting the pleasure to work, and be apart of something that I believe in. To call Sunrise my 'Business Home' is what has given me that possibility.

Our customers is our focus, and our employee's is what Sunrise is. It is not some building, some set of servers, some IP or ISV offering, it is the men and women that make up this great company.

So if you are interested, please take the time and make contact with me: brandon (dot) george (at) sunriseconsult (dot) com.

We believe in bringing on strong people, which are well rounded, fit well within our culture, and are customer focused.

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

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Thursday, April 14, 2011

A Guide to Microsft Dynamics Cloud ERP - Dynamics AX

As I mentioned in my post yesterday, Microsoft Convergence 2011 - The Aftermath, Microsoft Dynamics Cloud ERP was a main topic and highlight as part of the overall Convergence 2011 event. (Conv11).

With the announcement of Microsoft Dynamics ERP Online, and with Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 now in public beta, more specific information can be shared and talked about, in regard to Microsoft Dynamics Cloud ERP vision for Microsoft Dynamics AX.

The Vision: Today
Today we have Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009, a very stable world class ERP platform, deployed throughout the world. With it, was introduced a lot of great functional depth, as well as technical enhacnements, that drive bottom line business value.

It, along with the soon-to-be released Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, targeted August, you have a Cloud Story that starts to unfold. What is this cloud story?

Now, and building up to Microsoft Dynamics AX 7.0, the model for running Microsoft Dynamics AX in the cloud, is through Partner Hosting model. This offers different flavors, of cloud offerings, depending on the hosting partner. Your Microsoft VAR of record is still your Dynamics AX expert and trusted guide / advisory, as well as implementor for your AX investment.

What this partner hosting model involves, is a set of certified and trusted hosting partners, that work with your VAR, to deliver a subscription based, license model, running on a hybrid cloud approach, depending on need that have IaaS-ish, and SaaS-ish aspects to it.

Let's be clear here: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 & 2012 are not designed to be multi-tenant, 100% SaaS offerings. When you look at the benefit of a SaaS offering, being multi-tenant, who does that benefit? The Provider! It does not benefit you the customer. What benefits you the customer, is the SPLA license, to where you can by month, per user.

That, is where the Cloud Story for Microsoft Dynamics unfolds into the true benefit for customers. You can take and offload the infrastrcute needs to a hosting partner, that can have some mix bag of IaaS / SaaS aspects to it, to lower your TCO from a management point of view, but also now have SPLA's that allow you to take and "rent" the software, including ISV solutions, including having your own customization needs, through a by month, per user fee.

This means that you can have an, isloated-tenant model, with getting all the benefits for license, and service, of a multi-tenant subscription offers. This, for some companies, concerned around shared environments, gives you the best of both worlds. And leads you to the subscription based model, lowered TCO, and better scale, than you could get from a total on-premise implementation.

Now this is not for everyone, as on-premise is very much a part of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 and Microsoft Dyanmics AX 2012. It will remain, most likely, in some geo-locations, and vertical splits of company and size, the main focus for the next 5-10 years and beyond.

The Vision: Tomorrow
Moving forward, and looking ahead to Microsoft Dynamics AX 7.0, it is being developed to run 100% on Microsoft Azure, PaaS offering. It's being developed first, for the cloud, but still the same applies that it can 100% run on-premise.

With this, you will have a true set of possible ways to run your Microsoft Dynamics AX 7.0 instance, with either running as PaaS offering on Azure, with the Partner Hosting Model and it's IaaS-ish offerings, or 100% on-premise.

This flexibility is what sets Microsoft apart, because it realizes that not everyone wants to run 100% of their total business solution on the cloud, and companies want options. For some it's all-in, everything, while others, it will be a hyrbid, best of breed for their case mix of SaaS, IaaS & PaaS cloud offerings that makes up their total overall solution.

To help close this post out, I hosted a session as part of AXUG DayOne while at Convergence 2011, specifically on Cloud Computing for the Microsoft Dynamics AX Company.

Take a look at slide deck, mixed with this post, to help get a better idea of what the Microsoft Dynamics Cloud ERP story is, and how it's unfolding. The idea is to offer choice, flexbility, and scale that drive business value for your company and needs.

After reviewing the post, if you have any questions on this, still need answers, have concerns, looking for a partner that undertands the vision for today and tomorrow, email me through my profile or leave me a comment and I will get back with you.

That's all for now, but check back soon, and often as more to come!

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Microsoft Convergence 2011 - The Aftermath

Well, we came, we saw and we conquered - Microsoft Convergence 2011. (Conv11)

The we of course, is partners, customers and of course Microsoft. This year's event was the second larget ever Convergence, with over 9,300+ attending. The GWCC in Atlanta is a Huge place. Walking from building A, B & C means you got in a 5k everyday!

Maybe the 5k statement is a little bit of a stretch to the reality, however your feet sure felt like it! I would say, the real complaint I would have with this years session, was the horrible keynote speech seats. Anyone at the event planning team from Microsoft hearing this? I'm not the only one who thought so... go read the tweets!

Beyond that physical, and very personal, lasting affect, the overall conference was a huge hit. So much information, so many points of interest, and so much news to cover. The biggest focus of news, was around what we all expected to the build up of this event, that is:

  • Microsoft Dynamics ERP Cloud

  • Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012

  • Microsoft's BI Story
With each of these topics, so many articles, post and details will be coming, and Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 went into public beta.

With that, you have so much content to review already, that was generated as part of the Microsoft Dynamics AX Technical Conference earlier this year.

To start, make sure and read the Technical Whats New, located here.: What's New for Developers in Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012

With so much to cover, look here as now that we have reached public beta with AX 2012, I can now dive into the product with you as we prepare for the larget launch of any Dynamics product in the Microsoft family this year.

That's all for now, I also have some great interviews with Kees H. and Lachlan C. from Microsoft, some partner reviews, interviews with Doug K. and Hal H. coming up, as well as continued focus on all things Dynamics. So check back often! Till next time!

P.S. Conv12 = Houston, TX!

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

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Monday, April 11, 2011

Microsoft Dynamics ERP Online - and other conv11 news

Well we are into full swing with day two at conv11the key note had some great details in it, and as expected, Dynamics Cloud ERP, as well as AX 2012 where the majority of the focus. Along with BI, specifically showing off Microsoft Project Crescent, which is the next version, or next generation of report builder.

As part of the keynote, and as the title suggests, Microsoft today announced Microsoft Dynamics ERP Online.. This has been a building up for years, and if you have been reading my blog for any extended amount of time, you will have seen I have been talking about the cloud and it's impact on Dynamics, specifically Dynamics AX for a while. Over four years now!

Well with conv11 Microsoft now has an official stance on cloud computing, for Dynamics ERP. In looking at this, and as I covered in my session on cloud computing for AX, as part of AXUG dayone session, IaaS clouding offering, with AX installed on it is what the cloud story for Dynamics AX is today.

This is done either via Partner Hosting, and a new type of license that is based on per user, per month, or through a typical purchase of an AX license, with the customer making the choice to deploy AX to an IaaS cloud offering from the likes of an Amazon or even with Microsoft Azure VM role.

This cloud story continues to unfold however, as it was stated today, the next release of AX, version 7, will be developed to run on Azure First!

From early readings of the tea leaves, it would seem as though this would be around the 2014 calendar year time frame. That would fit into the product lifecycle we have seen so far with the AX product line.

There are so many great sessions now that the day into full swing, and I will be taking time put sit down today and talk with Kees H. and Lachlan C., both from Microsoft, and both I have interviewed on this blog before. So look for those interviews coming soon, as well as a slew of AX 2012, detailed articles and post, as today is Puboic Beta of AX 2012!

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

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Sunday, April 10, 2011

Conv11 kicks into full gear

Well, conv11 is in full gear now. Just had a great pre-game event for Microsoft Dynamics AX partners hosted by Frank V. And AXUG. A lot of great content, including information from Doug K. For partners on AX 2012 and the MPN changes.

One of the biggest, or strongest statements made by Doug, for AX 2012 is the fact that a partner must have a SharePoint practice as part of them, in order to sale and implement AX 2012 correctly. BI is also another must, with CRM mixed in as part of the total rounded offering.

A lot of focus still for partners to specialize and become more and more vertically focused. Also, not just the partner or solution level for specialization, but the same vision exists for consultants. With AX 2012, the 2-3 man AX shop is just not going to cut it.

Also, great review and AX 2012 highlights by Yvonne Haarloev, Microsoft Dynamics AX Product Manager. She reports dire lt to Kees H. Director of Product Development for AX, and who I will be interview tomorrow afternoon, along with Lachlan.

Yvonne, really gave a good high level overview of AX 2012, which leads into all the deeper dives and sessions that will be going on throughout conv11. It's a very interesting stat, that Frank V from AXUG gave, with Yvonne. First conv with AX included had two sessions. Now over 70+! That my friends is a huge sign of how the market and ecosystem has grown for AX along, much less the rest of the Dynamics family.

As part of the great presentation that Yvonne did, she made sure to go over the three pillars of AX 2012. Those are powerful, agile and simple.

Well that's all for now, so great stuff taking place and we are just mow getting started really! Welcome to Conv11 everyone! Make sure to come visit me at my sessions later today, as well at the Sunrise Booth through conv11 at booth #406

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

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Friday, April 08, 2011

Highlight: Best Practices: The Case For Two-Tier ERP Deployments

Well, I wanted to get in one more highlight before #CONV11, this one is a recent paper published by R "Ray" Wang, of the Constellation Research Group.: Best Practices: The Case For Two-Tier ERP Deployments

From the Executive Summary:
"Organizations continue to face an onslaught of business requirements that their existing ERP systems can no longer address. Stuck in the past century, these ERP systems are expensive to run, difficult to upgrade, and impossible to modify for today’s fast changing requirements. Two-tier ERP has emerged as a strategy to enable legacy optimization while reinvigorating the organization’s existing ERP systems. Abundant case studies show success with four common two-tier ERP strategies.

While today’s two-tier strategies mostly involve on-premises solutions, cloud based solutions will gain favor over the next 18 to 24 months because of their rapid deployment capabilities, constant innovation qualities, and subscription pricing. Whether SaaS, on-premises, or hybrid, a two-tier ERP strategy will reduce costs, meet new business requirements, and provide better business value."

Ray will be at CONV11 covering the event, along with all kinds of other Analyst. Mr. Wang does great work covering the world of business software, and anyone thinking about using the Two-Tier approach for Microsoft Dynamics AX should really take a look into purchasing this paper, for his valued insights.

Well that's it, see you all at Convergence!

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Making the most of Microsoft Dynamics Convergence 2011

I wanted to take the time, and tell you about my latest community article. Since CONV11 will be starting in just a few days, I thought it was good to point out some of the highlights to look for, and other topics, and general Convergence advice.

A direct link to the article can be found here.: Making the most of Microsoft Dynamics Convergence 2011

I hope you enjoy, and look forward to seeing people there. Keep in mind, you can follow me on Twitter as I do live coverage while at Convergence, here.: www.twitter.com/DynamicsERP

I will have a slew of post, interviews, and post convergence topics I will be writing about, so make sure to keep an eye here after CONV11 closes up next week.

Till next time!

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

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Tuesday, April 05, 2011

MSDW: Getting Ready for Development with Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 – Part Two: Training

Well as we approach CONV11, my latest article for MSDW, in meries on Getting Ready for Development with Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 has been released. A direct link to that article can be found here.: Getting Ready for Development with Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 – Part Two: Training

In this article, I address the training aspect, creating a training plan or journey if you will, and look at the training aspect from a Partner vs. a Customer perspective.

I hope you enjoy, and I will be doing part three in the series sometime after Convergence, around the end of April / May timeframe.

That's all for now, check back as more to come. Till next time!

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

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Monday, April 04, 2011

Sunrise Over Convergence 2011

Well we are officially less than one week away from Convergence 2011 (CONV11). I have heard it's a totally sold out event, and this year is going to be packed with all kinds of information.

To kick off the pre-convergence events, I like to pick the brain of Sunrise President and Owner, John Pence. (He happens to be my boss as well!)

Below is the result of me, virtually, sitting down with John to talk about Convergence 2011.:

Q1: What topics do you think will be most covered at this years Convergence in Atlanta?

"I think the hot topics at this year’s Convergence will be the evolution of the Cloud into ERP and CRM, Dynamics AX2012, and Microsoft’s approach to mobile computing. I think SAAS will get the most attention this year by far. It is the dominant platform in CRM, and the ERP businesses will be seeing much more of an impact than in the past. AX2012 is a major new product that deserves to get a lot of attention this year, and mobility continues to be a huge topic."

Q2: What will Sunrise being talking about at it's booth this year?

"First, we are making a significant investment in making sure all of our applications are upgraded and ready on the day AX2012 is launched. We want to make sure our customers know that we will be ready with products that support Microsoft’s investment in this great new product, and that our applications will be tuned to take full advantage of the new features. Second, we have added new capabilities around BI to our offerings for Dynamics AX that will be showing at Convergence."

Q3: What topics do you think are worth noting, that might not get headline coverage while at Convergence this year?

"I think that Microsoft’s BI for Everyone strategy is being lost in the attention of Cloud Computing. This is a fantastic value, with rich functionality, and it is being drowned out in the discussions around Cloud and mobility computing."

Q4: What are you most excited, or eager to hear about while at Convergence?

"Like every year, the chance to network with our Dynamics ecosystem of customers and partners is the number one draw of Convergence. I always learn a great deal from all the interaction and it is of tremendous benefit to myself and Sunrise. In addition, I am looking forward to learning more about Microsoft’s specific product direction, and the hosting strategy for ERP in the Cloud."

I would like to thank John for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer a few questions about Convergence 2011. For sure this is going to be a year with information overload about AX 2012, the Cloud, Device or Mobile Computing, and much more.

Make sure to stop by the Sunrise Booth 406! I will be working the booth at different times Sunday-Tues myself.

Also, I will be covering the event, through my twitter account.: www.twitter.com/DynamicsERP So make sure to follow me, and look for others covering #CONV11.

For reference, here is John's Bio:
John has spent the last 29 years tackling large scale IT and supply chain projects for a wide range of corporations. John spent the first 15 years of his career working his way up from programmer trainee to CIO at Sara Lee Corporation. Along the way he held numerous IT and non-IT jobs, including Director of Planning and Distribution for Sara Lee’s 400+ retail stores, serving as the logistics partner to Wal-Mart, and CIO of Champion Products. In 1994 John left Sara Lee to found Sunrise Technologies, a company focused on bringing advanced supply chain solutions to the apparel and textile industries. Sunrise Technologies has grown into a Gold Certified Microsoft partner specializing in the Dynamics AX ERP solution. Sunrise is headquartered in Winston-Salem, NC, with offices in Dallas, TX, Los Angeles, CA, and Xi’an China.

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

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Friday, April 01, 2011

I won the lotto! Bye-Bye work world!

That's right, I won the $316 Million Dollar Jackpot while playing up in New York. This will be my last blog post about... Anything!

... Really it's just another April Fools day post! Happy April Fools Day! And for those that still accept April 1st and the official start of the year, Happy New years to you! Welcome to 2011--- the rest of us have been here for 3 months now, so you better hurry and catch up!

I love April fools day honestly, I get up early and make sure to get as many people as possible with jokes and pranks.

Like I was driving back home this morning, and hit the On-Star button. The nice lady came on, and asked where I needed directions to. In a very creepy voice I asked "To wherever you are right now..."

Silence hit for a while, and then she stumbled saying: "Sir, that is not something I am allowed to tell you."

I answered back, again creepy, with: "I need direction to (The N.C. Call Center for On-Star)" I gave her the actual address though... she freaked out because that is where she was!

Of course happy April fools was said, and all was right in the world. She let me crank my car again, because I believe she had stopped it remotely and was contacting the cops.

Funny right? Well if you believed that story... The April Fools is on you! I just thought it was a funny story, I would never actually pull that kind of prank for fear of the cops getting called on me, or making some total stranger feel bad. I save that for my friends and family!

One last April Fools, and that's ThinkGeek.com Annual April Fools Page. Check it out.: ThinkGeek.com I like the Star Wars Lightsaber Popsicles the best. "Taste the Force"!

That's enjoy fun for now, back to the grind, and look for more AX, and non-April Fools based post coming soon!

"Visit the Dynamics AX Community Page today!"

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